Perugia is the
capital city in the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the
Tiber river, and the capital of the province of Perugia.
Perugia is an important artistic center of Italy. The town gave
his nickname to the famous painter Pietro Vannucci, called
Perugino, who worked in Perugia, Rome and Florence. Perugino is
said to be the Maestro of Raffaello, who left in Perugia five
paintings (today no longer in the city) and one fresco. Another
famous painter, Pinturicchio, lived in Perugia. In Galeazzo
Alessi Perugia found its most famous architect.
Perugia first appears in history as Perusia, one of the twelve
confederate cities of Etruria. It is first mentioned in the
account of the war of 310 or 309 BCE between the Etruscans and
the Romans. It took, however, an important part in the rebellion
of 295, and was reduced, with Vulsinii and Arretium (Arezzo), to
seek for peace in the following year.
In 216 and 205 BCE it assisted Rome in the Second Punic War but
afterwards it is not mentioned until 41-40 BCE, when Lucius
Antonius took refuge there, and was reduced by Octavian after a
long siege, and its senators sent to their death. A number of
lead bullets used by slingers have been found in and around the
city (Corpus Inscr. Lat. xi. 1212). The city was burnt, we are
told, with the exception of the temples of Vulcan and Juno— the
massive Etruscan terrace-walls, naturally, can hardly have
suffered at all— and the town, with the territory for a mile
round, was allowed to be occupied by whoever chose. It must have
been rebuilt almost at once, for several bases exist, inscribed
Augusta sacr(um) Perusia restituta; but it did not become a
colonia until 251-253 CE.
It is hardly mentioned except by the geographers until it was
captured and laid waste in 547 by Totila, after a long siege.
Totila is said to have ordered the city's bishop, Herculanus of
Perugia, to be flayed and killed. St. Herculanus (Sant'
Ercolano) later became the city's patron saint.
In the Lombard period it is spoken of as one of the principal
cities of Tuscia. In the ninth century, with the consent of
Charles the Great and Louis the Pious, it passed under the
popes; but by the eleventh century its commune was asserting
itself, and for many centuries the city continued to maintain an
independent life, warring against many of the neighbouring lands
and cities— Foligno, Assisi, Spoleto, Todi, Siena, Arezzo, etc.
In the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines, it remained
loyal for the most part to the Guelph party.
Roman aqueduct On various occasions the popes found asylum from
the tumults of Rome within its walls, and it was the
meeting-place of fives conclaves, including those which elected
Honorius II (1124), Honorius IV (1285), Celestine V (1294), and
Clement V (1305). But Perugia had no mind simply to subserve the
papal interests and never accepted papal sovreignty. At the time
of Rienzi's unfortunate enterprise in reviving the Roman
republic, Perugia sent ten ambassadors to pay him honour; and,
when papal legates sought to coerce it by foreign soldiers, or
to exact contributions, they met with vigorous resistance, which
broke into open warfare with Pope Urban V in 1369; Perugia was
forced to accept a papal legate. The abbot of Cluny Monmaggiore
was expelled by a popular uprising in 1375, and his
fortification of Porta Sole was destroyed.
Civic peace was constantly disturbed in the fourteenth century
by struggles between the party representing the people
(Raspanti) and the nobles (Beccherini). After the assassination
of Biordo Michelotti (1398), Perugia became a pawn in the
Italian Wars, passing to Gian Galeazzo Visconti (1400), the Pope
(1403), to Ladislas of Naples (1408-14) before it settled into a
period of sound governance under the Signoria of the condottiero
Braccio da Montone (1416-24). Following mutual atrocities of the
Oddi and the Baglioni families, power was at last concentrated
in the Baglioni, who, though they had no legal position, defied
all other authority, though their bloody internal squabbles
culminated in a massacre, 14 July 1500. Gian Paolo Baglioni was
lured to Rome in 1520 and beheaded by Leo X; and in 1540
Rodolfo, who had slain a papal legate, was defeated by Pier
Luigi Farnese, and the city, captured and plundered by his
soldiery, was deprived of its privileges. A citadel known as the
Rocca Paolina, after the name of Pope Paul III, was built, to
designs of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger "ad coercendam
Palazzo dei Priori: the center of communal government.In
1797, the city was conquered by French troops. On 4 February
1798, the Tiberina Republic was formed, with Perugia as capital,
and the French tricolour as flag. In 1799, the Tiberina Republic
merged to the Roman Republic.
In 1832, 1838, 1854 and 1997 Perugia was visited by earthquakes;
Following the collapse of the Roman republic of 1848-49, when
the Rocca was in part demolished, in May 1849 it was seized by
the Austrians. After another futile insurrection in the June of
1859, which was bloodily defeated by Pius IX's troops, it was
finally united, along with the rest of Umbria, to Piedmont, in
Perugia has become famous for chocolate, mostly because of a
single firm, Perugina, whose Baci (kisses) are widely exported.
Perugia chocolate is very popular in Italy, and the city hosts a
chocolate festival in October of every year.
Perugia today hosts two main universities, the Università degli
Studi and the Foreigners University (Università per Stranieri),
and are melting pots for students from all over Italy and the
world. Stranieri serves as an Italian language and culture
school for students from all over the world. The city also hosts
the Umbra Institute, an American school for students studying
abroad in Perugia. The Università dei Sapori(University of
Tastes), Accademia delle belle arti (Art Academy), and Scuola di
giornalismo radio televisivo (a radio-television journalism
school owned by RAI) are located in the city as well.
The city symbol is the griffin, which can be seen in the form of
plaques and statues on buildings around the city.
This section is a stub. You can help by expanding it.
 Main attractions
The Cathedral of S. Lorenzo.
Palazzo dei Priori (Town Hall, encompassing the Collegio del
Cambio, Collegio della Mercanzia, and Galleria Nazionale). The
Collegio del Cambio has frescoes by Pietro Perugino, while the
Collegio della Mercanzia has a fine later 14th century wooden
Church and abbey of San Pietro (late 16th century).
Basilica of San Domenico (begun in 1394 and finished in 1458).
It is located in the place where, in Middle Ages times, the
market and the horse fair were held, and where the Dominicans
settled in 1234. According to Vasari, the church was designed by
Giovanni Pisano. The interior decorations were redesigned by
Carlo Maderno, while the massive belfry was partially cut around
mid-16th century. It houses examples of Umbrian art, including
the precious tomb of Pope Benedict XI and a Renaissance wooden
Church of Sant'Angelo (6th century).
Church of San Bernardino (with façade by Agostino di Duccio).
Fontana Maggiore, a medieval fountain designed by Fra Bevignate
and sculpted by Nicolò and Giovanni Pisano.
Church of San Severo, here's retained a fresco painted by
Raffaello and Perugino.
Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, the National Gallery of Umbrian
art in Middle Ages and Renaissance (it includes works by Duccio,
Piero della Francesca, Beato Angelico, Perugino)
Ipogeo dei Volumni (Hypogeum of the Volumnus family), an
Etruscan chamber tomb
National Museum of Umbrian Archaeology.
Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo.
Porta Augusta, a Roman gate with Etruscan elements.
the Rocca Paolina, a Renaissance fortress (1540-1543) of which
only a bastion today is remaining. The original design was by
Antonio and Aristotile da Sangallo, and included the Porta
Marzia (3rd century BC), the tower of Gentile Baglioni's house
and a mediaeval pit.
The Etruscan arch.
The directional centre,Piazza del Bacio by Aldo Rossi the famous
The Etruscan Well (Pozzo Etrusco).
Teatro Comunale Morlacchi.
Church of Sant' Agata.
Church of Sant' Ercolano (early 14th century). Currently
resempling a polygonal tower, it had once two floors. The upper
one was demolished when the Rocca Paolina was built. It includes
Baroque decorations commissioned from 1607. The main altar is
made by a 4th sarcophagus found in 1609.
Church of Sant'Antonio da Padova.
Church of San Francesco al Prato.
Church of Santa Giuliana, heir of a female monastery founded in
1253, which in its later years gained a fame of dissoluteness,
until the French turned it into a granary. It is now a military
hospital. The church, with a single nave, has traces of the
ancient frescoes, which probably covered all the walls (13th
century). The cloister is a noteworthy example of Cistercense
architecture of the mid-14th century, attributed to Matteo
Gattapone. This is contemporary to the upper part of the belfry,
whose base is from the 13th century.
Church of San Michele Arcangelo (5th-6th centuries). It is an
example of Palaeo-Christian art with central plant recalling
that of Santo Stefano Rotondo in Rome. It has 16 antique
Church of San Matteo in Campo Orto.
Church of Santi Stefano e Valentino
Templar church of San Bevignate.
This article is about the Italian town. For the type of
embroidery, see Assisi embroidery. For the Assisi meteorite of
1886, see Meteorite falls.
Assisi (IPA /ɑˈsiːˌzi/) (Latin: Asisium), is a town in Italy in
Perugia province, Italy, in the Umbria region, on the western
flank of Mt. Subasio. It is the birthplace of St. Francis, who
founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and
St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Clares.
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows of the 19th century was
also born in Assisi.
Around 1000 BC a wave of immigrants settled in the upper Tiber
valley as far as the Adriatic Sea and also in the neighbourhood
of Assisi. These were the Umbrians, living in small fortified
settlements on high ground. From 450 BC these settlements were
gradually taken over by the Etruscans. The Romans took control
of central Italy by the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC. They built
the flourishing municipium Asisium on a series of terraces on
Mount Subasio. Remains from these Roman times can still be found
in Assisi : city walls, the forum (now Piazza del Comune), a
theatre, an amphitheatre and the Temple of Minerva (now
transformed into the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva).
In 238 AD Assisi was converted to Christianity by bishop Rufino,
who was martyred at Costano. According to tradition, his remains
rest in the Cathedral Church of San Rufino in Assisi.
The Ostrogoths of king Totila destroyed most of the town in 545.
Assisi then came under the rule of the Lombards and later the
Frankish Duchy of Spoleto.
The thriving city became an independent Ghibelline commune in
the 11th century. Constantly struggling with the Guelph Perugia,
it was during one of those battles, the battle at Ponte San
Giovanni, that Francesco di Bernardone, (Francis of Assisi), was
taken prisoner, setting in motion the events that eventually led
him to live as a beggar and renounce the world.
The Rocca Maggiore, the imperial fortress on top of the Mount
Subasio, was plundered by the people in 1189, but rebuilt in
1367 on orders of the papal delegate, cardinal Gil de Albornoz.
The city, which had remained within the confines of the Roman
walls, began to expand outside these walls in the 13th century.
In this period the city was under papal jurisdiction.
In the beginning Assisi fell under the rule of Perugia and later
under several despots, such as the soldier of fortune Biordo
Michellotti, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, duke of Milan, Francesco I
Sforza, another duke of Milan, Jacopo Piccinino and Federico I
of Montefeltro, lord of Urbino. The city went into a deep
decline through the plague of the Black death in 1348 AD.
The city came again under papal jurisdiction under the rule of
Pope Pius II (1458-1464).
In 1569 construction was started of the Basilica of Santa Maria
degli Angeli. During the renaissance and later centuries, the
city continued to develop peacefully, attested by the
17th-century palaces of the Bernabei and Giacobetti.
Now the site of many a pilgrimage, Assisi is linked in legend
with its native son, St. Francis. The gentle saint founded the
Franciscan order and shares honors with St. Catherine of Siena
as the patron saint of Italy. He is remembered by many, even
non-Christians, as a lover of nature (his preaching to an
audience of birds is one of the legends of his life).
Assisi was hit by the devastating twin earthquakes that shook
Umbria in 1997, but the recovery and restoration have been
remarkable, although much remains to be done. Massive damage was
caused to many historical sites, but the major attraction, the
Basilica di San Francesco, reopened less than two years later.
The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi (St Francis) is a World
Heritage Site. The Franciscan monastery, il Sacro Convento, and
the lower and upper church (Basilica inferiore e superiore) of
St Francis were begun immediately after his canonization in
1228, and completed 1253. The lower church has frescos by
renowned late-medieval artists Cimabue and Giotto; in the Upper
church are frescos of scenes in the life of St Francis by Giotto
and his circle. On September 26, 1997 Assisi was struck by an
earthquake. The Basilica was badly damaged (part of the vault
collapsed, killing four people inside the church and carrying
with it a fresco by Cimabue), and was closed for two years for
Santa Maria Maggiore, (St. Mary the Greater) the earliest extant
The Cathedral of San Rufino (St. Rufinus), with a Romanesque
façade with three rose windows and a 16th‑century interior; part
of it is built on a Roman cistern.
Basilica of Santa Chiara (St Clare) with its massive lateral
buttresses, rose window, and simple Gothic interior, begun in
1257, contains the tomb of the saint and 13th‑century frescoes
Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (St. Mary of the Angels),
which houses the Porziuncola.
The town is dominated by two medieval castles. The larger,
called Rocca Maggiore, is a massive presence meant to intimidate
the people of the town: it was built by Cardinal Albornoz (1367)
and added to by Popes Pius II and Paul III.
UNESCO collectively designated the major monuments and urban
fabric of Assisi as a World Heritage Site.
Assisi Embroidery is a form of counted-thread embroidery which
has been practised in Assisi since the 13th century.
Today the town has many groups coming to enjoy the simple peace
of St. Francis. One such group has restored an 11th century room
and added altars to the world's religions. Pilgrims come from
many countries to the Assisi East West Retreat Center in Piazza
San Rufino in the spirit of St. Francis to sit and be in peace.
Armenzano, Capodacqua, Castelnuovo, Costa di Trex, Colle delle
Forche, Eremo delle Carceri, Morra, Palazzo, Paradiso, Passaggio
d'Assisi, Petrignano d'Assisi, Pieve San Nicolò, Porziano,
Rivotorto, Rocca San Angelo, San Damiano, San Gregorio, Santa
Maria degli Angeli, Santa Maria Lignano, San Vitale, Sterpeto,
Torchiagina, Tordandrea, Tordibetto.
B&B situated in the heart
of Umbria, good position to visit the most important cultural
and historical cities and famous villages.